AASV news

Carlos Pijoan: Loving husband and beloved father, teacher, mentor, and lifelong learner passed away on January 9, 2007

Courageous to the end, Carlos passed away peacefully at the age of 61 in his home in Shoreview, Minnesota, surrounded by his loving family on January 9, 2007, after a brave 3-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Carlos is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Montse; cherished children, Marc (Alejandra), Carla (Julio), Adrian Pijoan; granddaughter, Sara; brother, Pau (Leonora) Pijoan; sister, Carmen Maria (Luis) Pijoan; and nieces, nephews, numerous other relatives, colleagues, students, and friends.

Carlos was a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Minnesota, as well as an artistic woodworker, bird watcher, nature lover, world traveler, inspirational leader, and mentor. Recognized internationally for his efforts in the area of swine respiratory disease, his work on the influence of swine production systems on the dynamics of microorganisms such as PRRS virus, Haemophilus parasuis, Streptococcus suis, and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae will long be remembered.

In addition, Carlos founded and directed the Swine Disease Eradication Center and oversaw the professional development of numerous graduate students, many of whom have made significant contributions to the swine industry. Carlos truly touched uncountable lives, both personally and professionally, throughout the global swine and research communities.

In remembrance of Carlos and his legacy, the family requests that all charitable donations in memory of Carlos Pijoan should be directed to the Swine Disease Eradication Center fellowship in his name. This endowed fellowship will provide funding for applied research in swine health for a graduate student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Please send these donations to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, VMC #450 1365 Gortner Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108.

International PRRS Symposium held in Chicago

The 2006 International PRRS Symposium was held in Chicago in November with approximately 200 attendees. An international list of PRRS researchers presented over two dozen scientific presentations, many molecular based, with a few on practical topics. Topics discussed included viral persistence and genetic resistance, immunity, vaccines, viral genomics, and PRRS ecology. Presentations were also heard on the eradication effort in Chile and the formation of an eradication task force in Minnesota. The symposium included a number of poster sessions as well.

In addition, the PRRS CAP External Stakeholder Advisory Board (ESAB) also met. The ESAB, led by out-going chair Dr David Benfield, discussed the results of research conducted during PRRS CAP I and the transition to PRRS CAP II. Dr Mike Murtaugh provided a review of the accomplishments of PRRS CAP I research efforts which are summarized on the PRRS Web site at www.prrs.org. The group emphasized the need to identify possible gaps in current research directions with regard to the PRRS CAP mission and to promote transparency in the funding process. Dr Bob Rowland is leading the effort to secure funding for PRRS CAP II, and Dr Steve Henry will chair the incoming ESAB.

New brochure available: A Producer’s Guide to Managing PCVAD

The AASV and National Pork Board have collaborated to produce an 18-page color brochure on porcine circovirus associated disease (PCVAD) for producers. The booklet describes the disease, emphasizes the need for laboratory diagnosis, and outlines steps to be taken in each stage of production once PCVAD is diagnosed on the farm. Electronic copies of the brochure are available on the AASV Web site (www.aasv.org) under “Publications.” Print copies may be ordered at no charge from The Pork Store under “Resources, Swine Health” at http://porkstore.porkboard.org/home.php.

Ghent University to investigate Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

A major 4-year project has been announced by researchers at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University. This work aims to clarify the epidemiology and etiology of swine infections caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M hyo). This project follows previous research at the university which has shown that M hyo isolates differ with regard to their genetic make-up and their virulence.

Professor Dr Dominiek Maes, project coordinator, said “At the moment we do not know to what extent M hyo isolates vary within pig herds. For example, whether the isolates that infect young pigs are the same as those in older pigs.”

“Although current vaccines are an economically justified way of controlling the disease for individual pig farmers, it is unknown exactly how vaccination influences the diversity of M hyo strains on individual farms, or exactly which antigens within the M hyo cell induce the best protection.”

Swine Externship Grants assist senior veterinary students

For the sixth consecutive year, the AASV Foundation will provide $200 grants to senior veterinary students who participate in a swine externship. Students who complete an externship of at least 2 weeks’ duration in a swine practice or a mixed practice with a considerable swine component may apply for the grant. Both the student and at least one member of the hosting practice must be members of the AASV.

Applications are now available for students who will be seniors and have arranged externships during the 2007-2008 school year.

In addition to student information, the grant application requests a letter from the hosting practice containing details of the planned externship. After the externship has been completed and the practice has confirmed the student’s participation, the student sends a brief report of his or her experiences to the AASV Foundation before the funds are disbursed.

Nearly 40 students from the United States and Canada have benefited from the grant program since its inception in 2002.

Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to those successfully completing the requirements. Students are encouraged to submit their grant application as soon as they have confirmed their externship dates. The grants are limited to one per student.

To obtain grant application materials, go to www.aasv.org/students/externgrant.htm, or contact the AASV: 902 1st Avenue, Perry, IA 50220; Tel: 515-465-5255; Fax: 515-465-3832; E-mail: aasv@aasv.org.